Clockwise from top left: the Smart Skewer, a jalapeño roaster, a taco-grilling rack, and the Steak Champ.

Is that…the sun? It is! While winter seemed like it would never loosen its grip, it’s finally spring. With it comes warm weather and the sweet smell of cooked flesh over hot coals. To prepare you for the most sacred of backyard — or balcony — rituals, here are eight items, from hybrid tongs to a handheld torch and all $80 or less, to elevate your grilling game.

1. Bison Airlighter
Charcoal tastes great but can sometimes take forever to light. The fix? Kick-start the briquettes with the Bison Airlighter. Press a trigger and the portable torch unleashes a four-inch flame that not only lights coals in less than a minute but also circulates enough air to get them grill-ready in nearly half the time as the regular chimneys and colorless fluids. $80;

2. Steak Champ 
Stick this nail-shaped wireless meat probe into the side of your steak. A red light on the probe’s tip flashes not when your steak has reached a certain temperature but rather when it’s time to remove it from the grill. Let your steak rest on a plate until the probe stops flashing and you’re ready to dig in to the perfect pink center. It’s available with presets for rare, medium-rare, medium and medium-well. $50;

3. Grill Wrangler
We often shy away from all-in-one tools, as they can overcomplicate the should-be-simple. But this tong, spatula and fork hybrid is worth an exception, as it streamlines all grilling tasks, letting you attend to everything from portobellos to pork sausages. $35;

4. Cuisinart Taco Grilling Rack
This is a taco rack. It’s meant for arranging soft and hard filled tacos on the grill so you can give them a good char and infuse them with smoke. Don’t overthink it. $15;

5. Well Done Smart Skewer
Not only does this long, curved skewer fit more than a standard shish kabober, but it also has cool-touch wooden handles for blister-free turning. Smart. Even smarter? Pull the handle and you can remove just-grilled meats and vegetables without having to pick them off with your hands. $19;

6. Bodum Bistro Sauce Pot
Thick and sugary, thin and tart or nothing but vinegar: Whatever style of sauce you prefer to lather on your food needs to be protected from spills and summer bugs. This glass bottle protects liquids, and its lid is a built-in basting brush, making it easy to quarantine slaved-over sauces and coat soon-to-be-seared foods. Leftover sauce? Simply stick the pot in the fridge. $25;

7. Emile Henry Glazed Pizza Stone
Pizza on the grill is a transformative thing. A pie cooked over hot coals is different than one that comes out of an oven. Direct heat chars the bottom of the crust and makes the cheese molten, but it doesn’t blister the top or bludgeon the overall flavor of the pizza with too much smoke. This enameled stone conducts heat efficiently, is easy to clean and — in the event you need a break from pizza — can cook everything from nachos to Nutella bars. $50;

8. Jalapeño Pepper Roaster
Licked by the flames, stuffed jalapeños take on some serious flavor, but laid flat they burn and lose their innards. This 18-slot roaster positions them (and other similarly sized peppers) upright so they cook consistently — and keep their heads on. $20;

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